Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The CinnaMom: Jerilyn Brusseau

I recently went on a trip to Seattle sponsored by Cinnabon. If you care to read the details of that trip and enter a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Cinnabon, please see this post.

On my trip, I got to meet the woman who created the Cinnabon back in 1985, Jerilyn Brusseau. All of the bloggers on the trip took a moment to introduce ourselves to Jerilyn and talk about our blogs. After the introductions, Jerilyn came over to talk to me and tell me how wonderful she thought it was that I write a breastfeeding blog. She told me how when she was pregnant with her first child at age 21, she wanted to breastfeed, but everyone around her kept telling her she should be a modern woman, there was Gerber now, so you don't have to "do that."

"Well, I've always been a bit of a renegade," she told me, "and I knew I was going to breastfeed that baby!" And she did. She connected with a local woman in her community who just happened to be a member of La Leche League and gave her a book called The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. "All I had was that book, and it taught me how to nurse," she said.

Not only did Jerilyn go on to nurse her children, she and some other ladies from her local chapter of La Leche League actually started their own milk bank in the 60s for a baby that wasn't thriving on formula at a local Seattle hospital. They got a van and a fridge and would drive around collecting the milk and bringing it to the hospital and saved that baby's life. Jerilyn's daughter even works as a lactation consultant today!

Isn't that amazing? One woman was able to help Jerilyn and it changed her life and affected not only her family, but the people around her. Now her daughter is on a mission to help moms and babies, too. It gave me goosebumps to hear her story and I am so glad she shared it with me and that I am able to share it with you. Jerilyn is an inspiration, but so are all of you. You help women to breastfeed, to meet their nursing goals, you give them a sense of community. You can never know how many people's lives you change with your passion for and advocacy of breastfeeding. So if no one has told you yet today or recently, thank you. Thank you for your commitment to this cause, for all you do to help women and babies.

And an extra shout out to Alice of Sweet Savory Life and Shara of Mommy Perks, who have nursed three kids each! And to Cathy of Gastronomy Blog, who doesn't yet have kids, but bragged about the superiority of her mother's breast milk and plans to breastfeed her future babies.

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